Brazilian House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, facing possible impeachment over suspected involvement in the Petrobras state oil corruption scandal, demanded Tuesday that the investigation into him be halted.
Cunha, who has spearheaded an attempt to launch an impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff, claimed that the congressional Ethics Committee overseeing the investigation has not given him the opportunity for a “full defense” in the face of the allegations.
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The demands come after the Ethics Committee decided last week to move forward with the investigation against Cunha, who is accused of receiving US$5 million in kickbacks between 2006 and 2012 as part of the Petrobras scandal corruption ring. He is also accused of hiding the earnings in Swiss bank accounts.
Cunha has denied any wrongdoing.
The investigation and potential impeachment process against Cunha will be on hold until their is a decision over whether his appeal will be accepted.
If the appeal fails and the investigation moves forward, the process could result in Congress stripping Cunha of his political mandate and dismissing him from Congress.
The probe into Cunha’s alleged corruption launched last October in the Ethics Committee, but has been repeatedly stalled by a series of delays and maneuvers by the lawmaker and his allies.
The Petrobras scandal has implicated roughly 50 politicians.